OMAHA, Neb.—The Air Force said Wednesday it is discharging a hero of the so-called birther movement who refused to report to duty in Germany for a few days earlier this month because he doubts President Barak Obama's citizenship.
Staff Sgt. Daryn Moran expects to be discharged within the next week. Although the 41-year-old Nebraska man refused to report to duty and had called for Obama's arrest in statements on websites, several other things contributed to his discharge, including his opposition to Obama's decision to allow gays to serve openly in the military.
Moran, who has served nine years in the Air Force, drew the attention of the birther movement when he shared his views on Obama's citizenship on websites of groups that believe Obama was not born in the U.S. and therefore is not eligible to serve as president or commander in chief.
Obama released a copy of his detailed birth certificate from Hawaii in April in an attempt to quell the questions about whether he was born outside the U.S. But many birthers contend Obama's birth certificate must be a fake.
Moran was an ophthalmology technician with the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, where he had been stationed since October 2010. He was put on leave sometime earlier this year after some of his co-workers at the eye clinic were bothered by comments he made about the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and about Muslim terrorists and how he thought Obama was connected to Muslims. One of the doctors at the clinic was Muslim.
It's not clear whether Moran would have been prosecuted for refusing to report for duty because it appears his discharge was approved by his commander about a week beforehand.
Air Force spokesman Michael Kucharek said Wednesday that his commander approved the discharge on Aug. 4. Moran had refused to report for duty starting last Thursday.
Moran said he is receiving an honorable discharge, but the Air Force would only confirm that he is being discharged.
Moran said he didn't consider his orders valid because he doesn't consider Obama's presidency valid. Even as he was waiting for the Air Force to decide what to do with him, Moran was calling for Obama's arrest.
"I doubt America's future if we choose to abandon the Constitution at the moment of this battle with B. Obama's desire for absolute authority and unwillingness to cooperate," Moran said Wednesday in an email from Germany to The Associated Press.
Earlier this year, an Army doctor who disobeyed deployment orders because he doubted Obama's birth records served five months of a six-month prison sentence for refusing to go to Afghanistan. Terry Lakin, of Greeley, Colo., pleaded guilty in December to disobeying orders and was convicted of missing a flight that would have gotten him to his eventual deployment Lakin was tried at Fort Meade.
Like Lakin, Moran has appeared in YouTube videos with leaders of the birther movement.
Moran said he started doing research online about Obama after he was put on leave and after two airmen were killed in March in a shooting in Frankfurt, Germany.
Moran's father, Howard Moran, said he's proud of his son for taking a stand, and the information his son found online also convinced him that Obama isn't qualified to be president.
"Even if you don't agree with him, you have to give him some credit. I believe he's doing what he thinks is right," said Howard Moran, who also served in the Air Force.
Daryn Moran joined the Air Force after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He previously served in the Marines from 1991-1995.
Moran said Wednesday that he hoped to be back in his hometown of Omaha within the next week with his wife and two children.
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